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EFL: Five things to look out for this weekend

18 November 2016

The Sky Bet Championship returns after the internationals, resulting in a full house of EFL action.

As ever, there are plenty of things to look out for in the latest round of fixtures – we've picked out five...

Ollie's back!

Ian Holloway makes his Loftus Road return this weekend, when the new Queens Park Rangers boss leads his team out against Norwich City.

The charismatic manager, who takes over from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, represented the club as a player during the nineties, and took over as boss in 2001 when they were in a precarious position in the Sky Bet Championship.

He couldn't save them from the drop that season, but he did lead the club back to the second tier in 2004. This time around, Holloway arrives with the club 17th in the table, and he's brought another club legend, Marc Bircham, along as part of his coaching team.

🎥 'You realise I've signed you 3️⃣ times, @marcbircham. I've got to be mad!'

— QPR FC (@QPRFC) November 16, 2016

Shakers shake-up, and more!

While QPR have their new man in place, Bury go into the weekend managerless following Wednesday's departure of David Flitcroft.

Ever since an award-winning September, Flitcroft witnessed his side lose every game – 11 in all competitions. The ultimate Manager of the Month curse?

Read more: David Flitcroft departs - the ultimate Manager of the Month curse?

That wasn't the only managerial departure in a busy week for chairmen. Russell Slade's time at Charlton Athletic came to an end after just five months at the helm, and Adam Murray left Mansfield Town after winning just one of the last 11.

The Stags have moved quickly to replace him, though, with Steve Evans the new man in charge.

Read more: Mansfield Town announce Steve Evans as new manager

Plymouth push on

Plymouth Argyle are flying.

Last week's 2-1 win at Crewe Alexandra was their seventh consecutive away success, and they are undefeated in 14 Sky Bet League Two games.

Sums it up nicely. #pafc

— Plymouth Argyle FC (@Only1Argyle) November 12, 2016

That's now the longest streak in the EFL, after Carlisle United's 15-match unbeaten run was ended a week ago.

If there were any concerns after Derek Adams' men lost their opening two games, then they've been put firmly to bed. The Pilgrims have built up a seven-point lead over their closest contenders, and it's Grimsby Town up next for the Green Army.

Back of the net

Fleetwood Town, Doncaster Rovers, and Nottingham Forest both know where the goal is at the moment.

The Cod Army have scored in each of their 17 Sky Bet League One games so far this season, and host struggling Chesterfield this weekend, who they edged out 1-0 away last month.

Rovers have netted in all 16 ahead of their home meeting with Hartlepool United.

For Forest, however, they will be aiming to keep their first clean sheet of the campaign when they visit Ipswich Town on Saturday evening, a game screened live on Sky Sports.

Philippe Montanier's side have played 16 games and were just five minutes away from achieving their first shut-out in their last game before the international break, but a late concession to QPR meant the wait goes on.

PM: We need that clean sheet to encourage us. I hope for everybody that all the work we are putting in will pay off #NFFC

— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) November 17, 2016

Televised triple-header

Three days, three fixtures live on Sky Sports.

TV games: EFL fixtures shown live on Sky Sports

The aforementioned clash between Ipswich and Nottingham Forest is the meat in a Sky Bet Championship sandwich.

Prior to that, Brighton & Hove Albion host Aston Villa on Friday night. It's a battle between two in-form sides, with the high-flying Seagulls second following a 10-match unbeaten run.

Steve Bruce's Aston Villa are five without loss since the new manager's arrival, and the clubs face off in the EFL for the first time since 1987.

Then on Sunday comes a big clash at Elland Road, with Leeds United hosting Newcastle United.

Garry Monk has guided his Whites into the top six with three consecutive victories, and now face the table-topping Magpies who are on a run of seven straight wins.

Follow, follow, follow...

Follow the EFL's social media channels to keep up-to-date with the weekend action:


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